The most noticed of Monterey’s landscaping attractions, except for the golf course, is the series of ponds located picturesquely near the outskirts of Monterey. Besides eliciting tremors from golfers and wreaking havoc on their scores, the ponds are the barometer of rainfall concerns among Monterey’s residents, and their comparative height continually brings forth automatic responses of satisfaction or concern.
“Have you ever seen the ponds so low?” “Look how high the ponds are!”
If you want to find out about the ponds, talk to Bill Ettenger, who has maintained an interest in the ponds and is savvy to all the events and attempts to affect them through the years and to enhance their esthetic value.
The ponds, originally referred to as lakes, were engineered and built during construction of the property and are interconnected. The flow is counter clockwise from #8, where a pump sends the water through piping over to #5.
At pond #5, water goes over a weir located at the end of the wooden pier near the roadway, over to pond #4. From there it flows to #3, then the small pond at #2 green, then back to #8. Pond #1 was once connected to the others, but the pipe has long since closed up, and it has been on its own ever since.
The sluice gate on pond #4, which was completely re-built a few years ago, adjusts the height of water in all the ponds except #5. As Rhody Smith noticed following an overnight rain a few days ago, the overflow from the sluice gate is piped under the public road and Monterey’s private road to the river.
When heavy rainfall drains water from the roadways and fills the ponds, the flow can reverse depending on the amount of rain.
Pond #5 poses a problem in perception of the water’s height, since the water table in both #4 and #5 is the same, but the level of the land is higher at pond #5.
Bill can offer solutions. One is to line pond #5 with a membrane to retain the water. Another is to eliminate the part of the pond near the entrance and up a ways along Building 1. Then you could run a pipe from pond #5 to the weir, and it would overflow and continue to work.
The ponds of Monterey, utterly useless otherwise, serve us in many ways as topics of conversation along with beautifying the landscape and providing golfer’s with a interesting challenge. Where or where would we be without our ponds?